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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

Epitaph upon the Year 1806

William Robert Spencer (1770–1834)

’TIS gone, with its thorns and its roses,

With the dust of the ages to mix;

Time’s charnel for ever encloses

The year Eighteen hundred and six!

Though many may question thy merit,

I duly thy dirge will perform,

Content, if thy heir but inherit

Thy portion of sunshine and storm!

My blame and my blessing thou sharest,

For black were thy moments in part,

But O! thy fair days were the fairest

That ever have shone on my heart.

If thine was a gloom the completest

That death’s darkest cypress could throw,

Thine, too, was a garland the sweetest

That life in full blossom could show!

One hand gave the balmy corrector

Of ills which the other had brew’d;

One draught of thy chalice of nectar

All tastes of thy bitters subdued.

’Tis gone, with its thorns and its roses!

With mine tears more precious will mix,

To hallow the midnight which closes,

The year Eighteen hundred and six.